Winter is usually a bad time for our health… Between the cheese-based dishes, the hot chocolates, the comfort food eaten while watching TV, and of course the unforgiving end-of-year festivities, most of us are eating greasier and sugar-loaded food during this season. Even if I’m not a dietician or a healthcare professional, I have some advice and tips that I use to help me feeling better at the beggining of a new year, or every time I feel it would be necessary.
1) Drink a lot of water
This is something that I personnaly struggle with. Even if I usually drink a lot of tea or infusions, I sometimes spend a whole day without drinking a single glass of water. Let met reassure you, it’s not because I’ve been drinking juice or sodas instead : I’m simply rarely thirsty. But I’m working on that, and I advise you do the same, because drinking water (at least 1,5 L a day) is essential for an efficient detox, and for your health in general. You will also see some benefits on your skin, your hair and your energy level…
Of course, avoid sugary drinks and alcohol.
2) Avoid sugar
This is also something I struggle with, I definitely have a sweet tooth… But I can guarantee you that avoiding sweet food will make a huge difference. Your liver will be less solicited and will be able to “cleanse” itself more easily, you will be less bloated and you will eventually easily digest food . Sugar can also have harmful effects on your skin : reducing its consumption could help you obtain a better complexion.
3) Know your carbs
I am personally against diets without carbohydrates. These are essentials to your health and energy level, on the short and the long term. However, you have to chose the right ones, and you should not abuse it. For example, in a healthy and balanced diet (and in order to detoxify your body), I’d recommend to eat whole wheat bread every day – 1 to 3 slices – and to cut down (or even suppress) on pasta, white bread, and everything that contains a lot of flour.
4) Decrease your intake of animal proteins
Here, I’m talking about a temporary detox plan. For a long-term healthy lifestyle, animal proteins are really important, especially if you workout. But to really cleanse your body, I’d advise you to cut down on meat/eggs/fish and to eat them only 2 to 3 times a week (during no more than 2 or 3 weeks).
5) Eat a lot of vegetables – especially green ones – and fruits
No need for me to explain that veggies and fruits are your allies. To keep the vitamins, eat them raw or steam them. You can also cook soups or vegetable stocks, especially for dinner.
6) Eat small meals
Don’t stuff yourself if you want to go easy on your digestive system… Eat a small snack during the morning and the afternoon if your are hungry (fruits, for example).
7) If you want a more efficient detox, eat liquid food
If you feel like you really need a good cleanse, try to eat as many liquid food as possible : smoothies with mixed fruits for breakfast, vegetables purée for lunch, and soups or stocks for dinner. You have to be motivated, but you will certainly feel lighter and better after a few days. Avoid doing this for more than a week without the advice of your doctor.
8) Drink tea and infusions
Green tea can help you boost your metabolism and purify your system, as well as some “detox” infusions. Keep in mind that these drinks are diuretic, which means that you will eliminate more water than you drink. It is therefore important to also drink clear water during the day.
9) Be moderately active
With the decrease in your intake of carbs and proteins, I don’t recommend you have an intense physical activity. This would probably leave you too tired. Walking is a great alternative that will enable you to breath some fresh air. An hour a day is a great goal.
10) Get some rest
This is not always easy when you have a fast pace of life or if you are taking some exams at school, but try to go to bed earlier than usual to sleep at least 8 hours per night.
For me, these tips are the base of a healthy lifestyle, and are quite easy to achieve. The aim here is not to start a drastic diet to lose weight (I do not advise you do such thing), but more about going back to healthy eating habits while giving your body some rest. Anyway, don’t forget to listen to your body and to visit your doctor if these are radical changes for you, or if you don’t feel well. I repeat, I am not a healthcare professional, and what works for me won’t necessarily work for you.
Finally, if you have some particular advice you use to feel better and healthier, or to cleanse your body, don’t hesitate to share it in the comment section ! I love discovering new tips !